Researchers are Calling for Better Privacy Regulations on Facial-Recognition Software

Is Amazon’s Rekognition a Breach of Civil Liberties?

By IGI Global on May 16, 2019
According to a recent The New York Times article, over 25 experts from companies including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, have signed a letter to stop Amazon from selling its facial-recognition software, Rekognition, to law enforcement as it has been misidentifying women and individuals of color.

The move comes as researchers argue that this technology cannot be controlled without proper government regulations as it could infringe on individual’s civil liberties. Through this movement, individuals are calling out law enforcement agencies and Amazon to “be transparent in how they use facial-recognition technology,” but the entities are declining on commenting on how the software is being used.

There is an ongoing worry that bias in facial-recognition technology is a systemic problem and lack of corrective action will only exacerbate it. Proponents argue that this technology is a vital advancement in aiding law enforcement agencies with catching criminals or even locating missing children. On the other hand, civil liberties experts caution that this same technology can also be used to identify individuals unbeknownst to them which can dampen a fundamental basic American right such as the ability to speak freely or simply go about their everyday life anonymously in public.

Esteemed IGI Global contributors, Prof. Hadj Ahmed Bouarara, Prof. Reda Mohamed Hamou, and Prof. Abdelmalek Amine from Tahar Moulay University of Saida Algeria, Algeria, state in their article, “A New Swarm Intelligence Technique of Artificial Haemostasis System for Suspicious Person Detection with Visual Result Mining,” from the publication, International Journal of Swarm Intelligence Research (IJSIR), “Nowadays, there are cameras everywhere in streets, shops, museums, metro stations, ticket machines, airports, banks, etc. with the intent to detect the malicious persons (thieves, criminals, terrorists) and prevent crimes … Consequently, in order to protect the privacy of the citizen, we must find a technique to satisfy the interests of all the parties including the party filming and the party being filmed.”

As issues of artificial intelligence (AI) and privacy continue to gain the attention of the public, IGI Global is continuing to provide the latest research covering facial recognition, security, information technology, and related topics. View the related resources below which are all featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci-Journals:

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